Five ways to achieve work-life balance.

25 February 2015 By Louise Thomson, Communications & Change Consultant at Global People and Facilitator of LV's Igniting Leadership Program.

During my corporate office years, ‘work life balance’ was the most frequently used cliché. It was a statement added in the last minutes to presentations to staff and it was always evident that the voice didn’t practise what was being preached!

The Business of Balance is challenging and often requires courage: knowing when and how to say “No” and “Yes” to requests that impinge on your personal and professional commitments. Some people feel guilty and ‘give in’ which is understandable if they don’t know how to manage these situations. I admire people who confidently communicate the importance of their ‘diary’ and the requests/expectations of others e.g. politely disagreeing to travel due to a family member’s birthday.

Since children entered the equation and operating my own practice the ‘business of balance’ has taken precedence and is almost mastered! I’ve siphoned a couple of these practices from observing great role models and have devised a few:

  • being very aware of my values and using these in my conversations with clients ensuring ‘no surprises’ e.g. My kids have my attention from 3:30pm during the week – best calling me in the morning
  • giving quality and quantity time to ‘what matters most’: health, family, business, friends, voluntary business (in that order) – everything I do is blocked into my calendar
  • being involved in at least one and a maximum of three voluntary/pro-bono roles
  • sharing my diary with my husband – quick and easy to make ‘what matters most’ decisions and appointments, and
  • keeping Friday @ Five sacred – family time at the end of the week to reflect, drink bubbles, make pizza, talk and plan.

Whilst these may seem rather simple, they kind of work most of the time. Knowing what is most important in life, that is, what you value and hold yourself accountable to, encourages you to lead your business of life, opposed to others leading your life.

Louise Thomson is Communications and Change Consultant at Global People and expert facilitator of LV's Igniting Leadership program.